City Deal


Cities and their surrounding areas are home to 74% of our population and 78% of our jobs, making them important to the long-term growth and economic success of England.

The country needs more business and employment opportunities to grow the economy. We believe that transferring powers from government to cities will make it easier for cities to achieve economic growth.


We are giving England’s cities new powers and freedoms through City Deals. City Deals are agreements between government and a city that give the city control to:

  • take charge and responsibility of decisions that affect their area
  • do what they think is best to help businesses grow
  • create economic growth
  • decide how public money should be spent

The first wave of City Deals are with the 8 largest cities outside of London, known as the Core Cities.

City Deals - Wave 2 involves 20 cities - the next 14 largest cities outside of London and their wider areas and the 6 cities with the highest population growth during 2001 to 2010.

With the help of the Cities Policy Unit these cities will negotiate deals with government – deals that give each city new powers in exchange for greater responsibility to stimulate and support economic growth in their area. Each city had to put forward a proposal by January 2013 that showed how they hope to do this.


The Cities Policy Unit was created in August 2011. It is made up of civil servants and staff seconded from local government, think tanks and the private sector. It works jointly with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government and across Whitehall.

The goal of the Cities Policy Unit is to work with both cities and government to help cities create new ideas and turn the ideas into successful plans.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, and Greg Clark MP launched City Deals on 8 December 2011, alongside the publication of the ‘Unlocking growth in cities’ white paper.

Bills and Legislation

The Localism Act 2011 introduced the Core Cities Amendment. This allows local councils to make the case for being given new powers to promote economic growth and set their own distinct policies.